Fender Modern Player Stratocaster HSS

A huge range of tones at an affordable price point

Compared to the other new twists on classic designs that have been in ample supply from Fender of late, there's nothing particularly special about the Modern Player Stratocaster HSS.

It has an alder body, bolt-on maple neck and an old- school 'Synchronized' vibrato. Sure, it has a humbucker chiselled into the bridge position, but Eddie did that over 30 years ago. The 241mm (9.5- inch) fingerboard radius and 22 jumbo frets promote the slick, modern feel we expect from Fender instruments.

"What makes this guitar worthy of your attention is how it delivers a great payload of tone and playability for not a lot of cash"

What makes this guitar worthy of your attention is how it delivers a great payload of tone and playability for not a lot of cash: a quick Google search will return some great prices.

The build quality isn't quite a match for, say, the recent Fender Blacktop Strat HSH - the finish isn't ultimately as flat, for example - but the Modern Player comes pretty close.

Sounds

Approach the Modern Player Stratocaster HSS without knowledge of its unassuming Fender logo on the headstock doesn't hurt, but it's the playability and tonal range that help this Strat punch above its weight.

The single-coils have that glassy tonality any great Strat should have. The bridge 'bucker has plenty of bite, but it's no overwound monster; you can split it with the push/ pull tone control.

Like its sister model, the Modern Player Telecaster Plus, this guitar offers a great palette of tones, only in a more visually traditional package.

MusicRadar Rating

4.5 / 5 stars
Pros

The price. Great range of tones. Playability.

Cons

The finish is poorly executed in places.

Verdict

Near frighteningly good value for money, where playability and tonal range seal the deal on this do-it-all Strat.

Pickup Configuration

HSS

No. of Frets

22

Scale Length (Inches)

25.5

Country of Origin

China

Hardware

Vintage-style tuners

Bridge

Chrome Strat 'Synchronized' vibrato

Pickguard

Yes

Available Controls

2 x Tone 5 Way Pick Up Selector Master Tone

String Spacing

52

Neck Material

Maple

Nut

Synthetic bone/42mm

Fingerboard Radius

241mm (9.5-inch)

Scale Length (mm)

648

Tremolo

No

Fingerboard Material

Rosewood

Guitar Body Material

Alder

Pickup Type

Modern Player humbucker (bridge), two single-coils (middle and neck)

Bolt-on Neck

Yes

Available Finish

Silverburst (as reviewed), Olympic white

Review Policy
All MusicRadar's reviews are by independent product specialists, who are not aligned to any gear manufacturer or retailer. Our experts also write for renowned magazines such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Computer Music, Future Music and Rhythm. All are part of Future PLC, the biggest publisher of music making magazines in the world.

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